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Saturday, December 17, 2011

Ignite! Winter Solstice Program

Last weekend, I got an email from Brooke Atherton telling me about a program she is doing and asking if I wanted to participate "from afar."

Brooke is a quilter I've "met" by chance...I saw one of her pieces at the NQA quilt show in Columbus and contacted her to review it here.  I love Brooke's work because it is very some ways its simple....but at the same time complex.  Here are a couple of pieces she has on line, completed for the Salvaged Threads show in 2009. Brooke is also the Yellowstone Art Museum artist-in-residence.

Brooke is hosting a special winter solstice program she's calling "Ignite!"  Using an outdoor firepit in the Visible Vault parking lot in Billings, Montana, Brooke is going to demonstrate the controlled charring of fabrics such as she uses in her own pieces... Participants are also invited to bring a small symbol of an event in their lives that they wish to put behind them, and those pieces will be consigned to the flames.

Winter solstice festivals marking the turning point between the decline into darkness and the return of the light have been part of human history for thousands of years.  The paradox between fire's beneficial and destructive properties have also marked human culture.

This misshapen piece is one I whipped up and sent out to Brooke today...for some reason, I was bound and determined to make a little quilt (this one is about 8" x 10").  I free cut the crab...but I was watching just the little piece I was working on while the remainder of it dangled in the air and I laughed to see that I really got off's warped, just like bones eaten by cancer get warped.  I quilted it with the words "cancer" in several places and then just quilted it over all...I was having fun with it, even though it isn't a piece of art...Obviously, I really want to put cancer behind me....if I can beat it back one more time...I'll be really happy.

The program is free to the public and will begin at 6 p.m. on Thursday, December 22, in the Visible Vault parking lot at 505 North 26th Street in Billings.  The program will take place whether it's snowing or not.  Wine and beer will be available for purchase.  The program will also take place in the Visible Vault Studio, but dress warmly for the outdoors.  Participants wishing to work with Brooke to make a symbolic item for the fire should plan to come to the Studio in advance, at 5 p.m.

I'm thinking that if you can't be there...maybe it would be fun to get some of your friends together and do the same....or even just write them on paper and let the new year be clean of regrets, pain, and other things which need to be put aside for happier living.

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